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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, former dancer, self-loathing (ex-)New Yorker
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  1. The Garnier stage is very wide, so I doubt the Giselle sets are scaled small. During that tour Giselle had eight girlfriends, there were 24 grape pickers and the hunting entourage included 16 nameless aristocrats, and I don't remember thinking that the stage looked cramped. But with many, many productions I wonder why the cottages jut out so far onto the stage.
  2. In years past the Paris Opera Ballet and the Bolshoi had fielded a full complement of wilis on that stage. I'm looking at a POB program from 2012, and there were 24 wilis (including Amandine Albisson, Valentine Colasante and Laura Hecquet), plus Myrtha, Moyna and Zulme. My guess is that under the circumstances ABT decided to put fewer dancers into its studios for rehearsals.
  3. Not just in Russia. This is part of the audition process for Canada's National Ballet School also.
  4. I've seen brisés look great on tall dancers and bad on short dancers. It depends on the quality of the jumps and especially the angle of the upper body.
  5. A few weeks ago I read about a Plan B of additional restrictions. Is it likely to be introduced?
  6. @cubanmiamiboy, there were striking differences in my most recent theater outings. In New York theaters were at capacity, but everyone was vaccinated, and everyone wore masks. It seemed to me that everyone was wearing them properly, and there lots of KF94s and KN95s in use. Although masks are legally required indoors, in Moscow I'd guess that about 30% of spectators actually wore them in the auditorium, and there was no telling how many people were vaccinated, but only about a third of the population has been fully vaccinated. Furthermore, the Bolshoi has a creative interpretation of 50% capacity, closing off the rear rows of the side rings so that a larger proportion of top-price orchestra seats can remain open, and people didn't hesitate to move to a blocked-off seat. (In Saint Petersburg there are no capacity limits even though its infection rate is twice that of Moscow.) I relied on my American vaccine and Korean mask to protect me, and they did their job, but I felt a whole lot safer in New York.
  7. The POB posted quite a bit of stage rehearsal footage for World Ballet Day.
  8. Thank you for clarifying @Kathleen O'Connell! I was also thrown by the asterisk on the cast sheet. Indeed, it would have incomprehensible if Danchig-Waring had been forced to wait so long for the part. (The last male lead I saw in Chaconne was Philip Neal at his retirement performance 💔, which tells you exactly how long it's been for me!)
  9. They were confident debuts, very well received by the audience. I enjoyed Danchig-Waring in particular: the rapid changes in direction, emphatic croisés and elaborate style were all there. I'm at a loss to understand why he hadn't danced the part a lot sooner.
  10. The AP story on vaccine tourism mentions some of the issues holding up the Sputnik V review. "But the WHO has said global approval is still under review after citing issues at a production plant a few months ago. On Friday, a top World Health Organization official said legal issues holding up the review of Sputnik V were 'about to be sorted out,' a step that could relaunch the process toward emergency use authorization. Other hurdles remain for the Russian application, including a lack of full scientific information and inspections of manufacturing sites, said Dr. Mariangela Simao, a WHO assistant director-general." That's why another person quoted in the article says approval probably won't come until next year. By April? Who knows? It turns out it may not have been necessary for the National Ballet of China to cancel its tour, since the U.S. will accept two of the Chinese vaccines. There's no way, though, that the other two Russian vaccines will be listed by spring, so dancers who received those may be out of luck.
  11. The U.S. will be accepting the six vaccines listed by the WHO: Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac (CoronaVac). That means that in November vaccinated travellers from the UK and EU will once again be able to visit the U.S. It also means that Russian vaccines are excluded. (Little wonder that some Russians are engaging in vaccine tourism to Serbia and a few other neighboring countries.) https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-will-accept-who-approved-covid-19-vaccines-international-visitors-2021-10-08/
  12. Ontario has lifted capacity limits on concert venues. It's up to the National Ballet of Canada to decide whether to keep the 50% limit or open up all the seats. (And what happens if capacity restrictions return?) https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000947/ontario-cautiously-lifting-capacity-limits-in-select-settings
  13. I believe Cranko wanted to use music from the opera, but the director of the opera house in Stuttgart forbade it. Ultimately I think it was the correct decision, because opera time is slower than ballet time, and Cranko would have ended up with too much music, and the ensuing cuts would have been controversial. The first act of the opera in particular is really long, but Cranko interpolated the rejection scene into the second act instead. (As it happens, he did use some music from another Tchaikovsky opera, Cherevichki, whose setting and subject matter are entirely different.) If music from the opera had been used, I think it would have sounded strangely bereft without vocals. (There might even have been a temptation on the part of some in the audience to hum the missing vocal parts. ) The score to Ronald Hynd's Merry Widow has that lacking quality.
  14. It drives me batty when ballet companies perform works that don't really require ballet dancers at all. I don't mean works by Graham, Cunningham or Limon, which constitute a significant technical and stylistic stretch for the dancers (one that they often fail), but the sort of pieces that make virtually no use of ballet dancers' training and technique--other than their bendiness, in which case rhythmic gymnasts would probably do just as well. What's the point? More basically, he may be worried about what McGregor's contortions would do to his back and hip sockets. Some dancers I know love doing McGregor. It's an exploration of what their bodies can do; they get a kick out of feeling muscles and connective tissues sliding over each other in unusual ways. What I can't always bring myself to tell them is that choreography which feels exhilarating to do isn't necessarily interesting to watch.
  15. I don't have the quote on hand, but Balanchine seemed to have objected to the adaptation of the poem. Russian audiences have also objected to deviations from the text, which absolutely everyone reads in school. I can understand that, because even allowing for necessary modifications when switching genres, I have a lot of problems with a lot of balletic and operatic adaptations of Shakespeare. ("This idiot person couldn't possibly have read the same play I did!" ) I also don't have the old Ballet Goer's Guide on hand, but I remember Crisp/Clarke described Union Jack as "affectionate," but clearly told from the other side of the Atlantic, which many British audiences find "disconcerting."
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